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COVID-19 vaccine. Emergex, a vaccine in the form of a plaster in clinical trials

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The COVID-19 vaccine from the British company Emergex has just entered the clinical trial phase. The preparation is innovative – it has the form of a small patch, and thanks to the use of T-type lymphocytes, it is supposed to provide long-term immunity to the disease. The first test results can be expected in June next year.

British company Emergex begins clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine, applied in the form of a patch and designed to provide protection for decades by using T cells to kill infected cells, the British daily The Guardian reported on Monday.

Established in 2016 in Oxfordshire, the pharmaceutical company Emergex received approval from the Swiss regulator to carry out, from January 3, 2022, tests of the new vaccine on 26 people in Lausanne. Initial results are expected in June next year.

Many years of immunity

The innovative preparation may be available from 2025, according to the standard, not the accelerated schedule of work on the preparation. As explained by Emergex Commercial Director Robert Cohen, the crisis situation is over, which has increased the pace of work in the regulatory process of introducing currently available vaccines to the market.

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– For the first time, a regulatory body has approved a vaccine for clinical trials that aims to generate a targeted T-cell response in the absence of an antibody response. T lymphocytes look for infected cells in the body and kill them, said Cohen. – A virus is like an asteroid being launched into a planet. The virus code, which is a kind of virus signature, is quickly displayed over the entire surface of the attacked object. The codes are read by T cells as foreign. Therefore, the captured cell is rendered harmless before new, live viruses can multiply in it, he explained.

Current COVID-19 vaccines mainly elicit an antibody response that diminishes over time. Booster doses are therefore required to maintain protection against the virus.

– Emergex works differently by killing infected cells quickly. This means it can provide long-term immunity – perhaps even for decades – and may also be better at fighting virus mutations, Cohen said.

Clinical trials are to be conducted, inter alia, by prof. Blaise Genton from the primary care and public health center at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

“This exciting new scientific approach to developing a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 addresses the need to generate a T-cell response in order to induce long-term immunity,” Genton said.

The method is to be investigated in the context of other diseases

Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, said he doubts that the T-cell vaccine “is capable of doing the job by itself,” but he said it could play a complementary role in a vaccine blending approach.

A patch the size of a human thumb, bristling with microneedles, is designed to release the composition in a few seconds. It can be stored at room temperature for up to several months.

Emergex is also testing T-cell vaccines against dengue, which, according to the World Health Organization, is at risk of half of the world’s population. So far, neither medicinal preparations nor preparations protecting against infection with the virus of this disease have been developed. The way T lymphocytes work is also to be used in the development of vaccines against Ebola, the Zika virus and seasonal influenza.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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